The secret ingredient to London’s best pizza? Seawater
I am the type of person who says things like, ‘I’ll give anything a go,’ but won’t jump into a swimming pool. So when I first heard about a pair of Neopolitan-leaning restaurants serving pizza made with seawater, my reaction was mixed. Yes, I love a wacky idea, but let’s be honest: ingesting seawater is never chic. One minute you’re channelling Pammy-An, the next you’re retching like you’ve seen Donald Trump in budgie smugglers. But sometimes I will give anything a go. Apparently the Mediterranean water they use at both ’O ver restaurants is hyper-filtered, so the chance of ingesting germs is slim. According to the eatery, which has been quietly using the saline liquid in its pizza dough for seven years, this quirk results in ‘less sodium and more minerals’, making ‘food lighter and easy to digest’. True or false, this process is nothing new; Spanish and Italian fishermen have been cooking with seawater for centuries and Ferran Adrià of the late powerhouse El Bulli became known for it decades ago.
So, how does London’s only seawater pizza taste? I’m pleased to report after devouring the Diavola — topped with fior di latte, sweet, rich San Marzano tomato sauce, spicy, glossy spianata calabra salami, ’nduja and basil — that I whatsapped to my editor: ‘I think I’ve just found the best pizza in London.’ A bold statement, but the impeccably light and crisp Neopolitan base has an intriguing twist: a subtle minerality about it. This adds a unique layer of salty flavour that’s different from the ubiquitous sourdough, which we’ve grown used to reaching for when searching for a punch. So set sail for sea(water) — it might just be your best voyage yet.
Borough and St James’s (overuk.com)